Canning is relatively simple and once someone talks you though the process, you will wonder what it was you were so afraid of. Think of it like baking a cake from scratch. That first time someone might have had to tell you how to sift flour and you might have had to go out and buy a sifter but once you did it you could read any recipe and make any cake and use your sifter again and again. The same is true with canning. Once you figure out how to make an Ascorbic acid or syrup, and purchase your jars and canner, you can take any item of produce and prepare it for canning.
For the purposes of this "Canning Week Blog Party" I will be giving tips on using a Pressure Canner while Jen over at From Mess Hall to Bistro will be giving tips on using the Hot Water Method.
Ball Blue Book-Guide to Preserving or the USDA Complete Guide to Home Canning for all the exact processing times and procedures for each item of produce.
So to start I wash my jars and leave them sitting in warm water. I like to make sure the temp of the jars is warm when I add my warm produce and then when I place the filled jar in the hot water in the pressure cooker (keeping a constant temperature helps keep the jars from breaking). I will also take my lids and rings and place them in bowls full of hot water too.
Then I add 1/2 tsp of salt to each pint jar.
Next I quickly take a paper towel and wipe off the edges of my jars. (This ensures the rim is clean and that the lid will seal properly.)
I then take my lids out of the warm water and place them on top of the jars.
Then I take my rings out of warm water and screw the rings on top of them. I give each one an extra tight grip to ensure they are screwed down as firmly as possible.
Next I place my jars inside the canner. (I use tongs to help be do this.) When the jars are inside and the water is boiling I place the lid on my canner.
Once 35 minutes have passed, I turn the heat on my canner off. I then take the weight and gently push it to allow steam to slowly escape from the canner. (Careful patience is needed here as the canner is extremely hot and you need to release the steam slowly.)
Once all the steam has escaped I completely take the weight off and wait for the pressure gauge to drop back down. Once that drops I know it is now safe to take off my lid.
Then I take my jars out of the canner and place them on a towel to finish cooling and drying.
Some additional tips for your canning. Always have lots of extra kitchen towels around. Your working so much with water, filling jars, etc. that they get damp quickly and easy access to more is helpful. Also, your kitchen is going to get hot, so crank up the AC and get some extra fans moving air into the kitchen.
Although this is the last day of our "Canning Week Blog Party" you can still get more tips and recipes over on Jen's Blog today; From Mess Hall to Bistro, and while you are there don't forget to sign up for our give-a-ways as there are lots of kitchen and canning items you won't want to miss (like 2 Ball Home Canning Discovery Kits amongst other things).
If you are interested in learning more about canning check out our facebook page where you can post and find recipes, ask questions and meet other canners.
And if you are a canner feel free to link up to our Canning Week Linky Party and share what you know and how you can. The linky is open till 4 pm Friday, August 27th and we are excited to announce that we will be having a guest judge for our linky party.....Jane from Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms will look for the post with the most descriptive explanation, good pictures and entertaining read and that blogger will win a copy of her cook book "Make Ahead Meals for Busy Moms" which is also available for purchase on Amazon.com
All winners will be announced on Saturday, August 28th.